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Mrs. Laura Bush Lends Support to M. D. Anderson Fundraiser

Former First Lady to headline 20th annual A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas

M. D. Anderson News Release 05/26/09

A Conversation With a Living Legend, an annual luncheon benefiting The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, will spotlight former First Lady and newly settled Dallas resident Mrs. Laura Bush in an exclusive interview Sept. 18 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Event organizers hope this year's 20th anniversary event will hit the $10 million mark in total funds raised for research, patient care and educational initiatives at M. D. Anderson.

A native of Midland, Texas, Mrs. Bush earned a Bachelor of Science in education in 1968 from Southern Methodist University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973, she earned a Master of Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian. In 1977, she met and married George Walker Bush. They are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

One of Mrs. Bush's first priorities in the White House was to convene the Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development. She continues to work with teacher recruitment programs such as Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and Troops to Teachers.

Mrs. Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with an emphasis on education, health care and human rights. In March 2005, she traveled to Afghanistan, calling attention to the plight of women suffering under the Taliban and witnessing firsthand the inspirational progress achieved by the Afghan people after the fall of the Taliban regime.

In honor of her mother, a breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Bush supports education campaigns for breast cancer, serving as global ambassador for Susan G. Komen For the Cure®. In June 2006, she launched the U.S.-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, bringing together breast cancer awareness advocates from Jordan and the United States. The initiative continues through the U.S. Department of State, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the King Hussein Cancer Center and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in Jordan and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. In July 2007, she announced the Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research of the Americas, an initiative of medical experts and breast cancer awareness advocates in the United States, including lead medical adviser M. D. Anderson, and in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and Panama.

Mrs. Bush also is dedicated to educating women about the risks of heart disease and the importance of healthy eating, exercise and preventive screenings. As a partner with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, she spreads awareness of The Heart Truth, a national campaign for women about heart disease, the leading cause of death among women in America.

Passionate about the importance of reading and promotion of literacy, Mrs. Bush joined with the Library of Congress in September 2001 to launch the first National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. The 2007 National Book Festival drew more than 120,000 book lovers from across the nation. In addition, Mrs. Bush is honorary ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade, serving as an international spokesperson for efforts to educate people throughout the world, especially women and girls.

A hiking and camping enthusiast as well, she helped start Preserve America, a national initiative to protect our cultural and natural heritage.

Since its inception in 1990, A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas has raised more than

$8.5 million for M. D. Anderson's research, patient care and educational initiatives. Chair Allie Beth Allman leads this year's steering committee of Dallas- and Fort Worth-area members of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors and other community leaders. The Hon. Bill Melton, former Dallas Cowboys announcer and Dallas County treasurer, will serve as master of ceremonies. Andrews Distributing Company and AT&T lend support to the event as major underwriters.

A Conversation With a Living Legend has honored Carol Burnett, Rudolph W. Giuliani, James A. Baker III, Jack Nicklaus, Colin Powell, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Nolan Ryan, Lance Armstrong, Norman Schwarzkopf, Margaret Thatcher and Cal Ripken Jr., among others. The 2008 event, featuring energy entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens and interviewer Evan Smith of Texas Monthly, raised $1 million for M. D. Anderson.

Approximately 1,000 attendees are expected for the luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Hilton Anatole's Grand Ballroom, 2201 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets start at $300 for individual seats; tables of 10 start at $3,000. For information, call 866-262-9029. 05/26/09

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center